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Arts & Culture

New Survey Finds Coronavirus Hitting Connecticut’s Creative Sector Particularly Hard

theater closed sign
Corey Doctorow
Creative Commons

Three and a half million dollars. That’s the estimated negative economic impact of the coronaviruson Connecticut’s arts and cultural organizations, according to a new survey.

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The nationwide survey drew responses from 278 organizations and 47 individual artists in Connecticut. It was conducted by the national arts advocacy group Americans for the Arts. Not surprisingly, social distancing has taken its toll, with 93% of organizations in Connecticut saying they had to cancel events, for an estimated loss of over 35,000 audience members.
That translates to an overall financial loss of $3.4 million, an average of about $12,500 per organization. On top of the losses, organizations also reported nearly $150,000 in unanticipated expenses.

Almost half of the Connecticut arts organizations said they have increased their online presence in response to the pandemic. That includes online performances and live streaming events.

More than half of the Connecticut organizations surveyed said staff reductions are likely, and over 90% expect a severe financial impact on their organizations from the coronavirus.

The survey is ongoing. Arts organizations are encouraged to update their impact survey as new information comes in.

Nationwide, Americans for the Arts estimates coronavirus has cost arts and culture organizations $3.7 billion so far.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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